Typical disclaimer: This is one of those “ghost maybe” occ posts where you should mentally insert a “maybe” in front of each statement so I don’t have to fill the post full of qualifiers. These opinions are purely intuitionistic and ought to be treated as such. The writing style is assertive because I’m describing properties of objects that exist very clearly in my mind, but these objects may not correspond with reality.
For reference, I’m working on describing the “middle parts” as defined here:
The problem, therefore, is that we are not in the historical position of computer scientists, who have built their field from the ground level (transistors) up to a very high level of abstraction (e.g. TurboTax, or Blogger’s tendency to drop long-winded comments for its own sadistic purposes). The situation is more like a dystopian future, where we have rediscovered a supercomputer and are attempting to piece together an understanding of its functioning. We have discovered the low-level, underlying units (neurons, axons, action potential; analogous to transistors, wires, voltages, etc.) and we’ve learned a great deal about the high-level operation of the thing (having observed that one is generally faster than the other), but we’ve as yet failed to bridge the gap with a middle level. It’s as if the computer scientists of old had failed to leave instructions for how a network of transistors could give rise to a logic circuit, and then a breadboard, etc. We’re stumbling through the rediscovery of these middle parts.
Beginning from the back of Koanic’s mohawk, we have the cerebellum. It houses instincts and the hard-coded concepts and archetypes like “monster”, “king”, “city”, and so on. It can be thought of as a registry of the nervous system’s datatypes and available commands (hence “each part of the cortex consists of the same small set of neuronal elements, laid out in a highly stereotyped geometry” -wiki). It should be envisioned as a patchboard for the brain’s white matter, being intricately involved in every brain operation that doesn’t involve any gray matter-style conscious computation. Therefore it is also the seat of kenttnis and probably regulates mental speed, despite containing a large amount of gray matter. Swedenborg proposed that the cerebellum is where our brains are connected to divine things, and my very brief experience of telepathy with jsl suggests there is something to this idea. For discussion of how “bigocc” relates to the cerebellum and neanderthal dream culture, read Stan Gooch.
Next, we have the occipital lobe proper. It can be thought of as a rapidly cycling state machine for simulating the external world based on sense data. A person with a highly active occipital lobe has a very keen sense of absolute spatial reasoning- a good way to judge someone’s engineering talent on the fly is to ask them which way north is. An ordinary smart person will take a moment to figure it out- but a natural engineer always just plain knows in the same way you know which way “up” is. Most of the time the occipital’s computation power is spent updating the visual field, but it can also be used for dreaming, daydreaming, and other intense visualization tasks. When we understand the interactions of two or more concepts in the sense of a person who says “Ah, I see”, it’s because the occipital is running a simulation based on concepts supplied by the cerebellum. It is therefore the seat of intuition (defined as complex instincts). When we have an “insight”, this means an occipital simulation inspired the creation of a new instinctive archetype, stored as a gray matter node in the cerebellum. People with overactive occipitals collect (tv)tropes like hoarders.
The temporal lobe is the seat of pattern recognition, constantly running and re-running structural equation modeling calculations. It’s the source of what you might call the “holism” drive to reduce all phenomena to variations on an essential theme, via the sentiment “everything is everything else”. This desire to find the pattern that contains all patterns is the motive force of philosophy, as evidenced by the fact that eminent philosophers tend to have wide crania with enlarged temporal lobes. Development of this lobe is associated with brilliance, genius, associative horizon, lateral fluency, and the ability to solve novel problems. It’s interesting to think about the ways this lobe could talk to the occipital, parietal, and frontal lobes- typically very smart men (Asians particularly) will have heavy cortical development where the occipital, temporal, and parietal bones meet, and very smart women (and I suspect smart Jews and blacks) will have heavy cortical development at Broca’s area, where the frontal, temporal, and parietal bones meet. I believe this is the source of Vox Day’s distinction between VHIQ and UHIQ. I should mention that both cases refer to the left hemisphere; if I were a betting man, I’d bet good money that ingenius visual artists have overdeveloped cortices at the occipital-temporal-parietal junction on the right side, and ingenius poets have overdevelopment opposite of Broca’s area.
The “fauxcippital” is the borderland country that interfaces between the occipital and parietal lobes. It is primarily concerned with taxonomies and axes for analysis: sorting things into ordered boxes and ranking them according to qualities X, Y, and Z. Old-timey Greek pagans were apparently really big on this kind of thing, where you try to apply MBTI-style cold reading to everything in the world, e.g. all matter is made of five basic elements in varying proportions. People with heavy fauxcippital style thinking love metaphysical-style static analysis, where nothing moves and everything is well-ordered and just so. If you enjoy geometry or biology, you probably have some fauxcippital. Unlike people dominated by the temporal holism drive, the fauxcippital is always eager to add new terms, categories, factors, axes, and epicycles to a theory. But they’re still interested in finding a more efficient set of axes to organize their mental taxonomy zoo, hence an overwhelming interest in concept porn and a nascent sense of ideological fixation.
The backswept parietal is the seat of causal reasoning and rationalism (or ratiocination, if you like). It takes the factor analyses supplied by the fauxcippital and abstracts the “types” even further into “objects”: mere particles governed by objective laws of behavior. It is pragmatic in the philosophical sense that its “conception” of an object equals its ability to predict the object’s behavior and respond in an adaptive way. Isaac Newton is an exemplar of backswept. You can probably see how this would be necessary for the backcone (and parietal as a whole) to perform its Machiavellian game theory calculations, using the a priori mechanics supplied by backswept to analyze dynamic systems with complex interactions between different types of objects.
Alternatively, I could be full of shit. That’s all I really have for now, so there’s no part 2 on the radar.